4 Keys to Resilience

Early in February 2020, before the pandemic shut down our lives, a tornado ripped through our town, demolishing homes and businesses, and leaving other destruction in its wake. Several trees toppled in our backyard. A huge limb, severed from a tree in the front yard, landed in the middle of one of our largest limelight hydrangeas.

For most of last year, it looked as if the plant wouldn’t survive. As spring became summer, the limelight still hadn’t bounced back. One day, I took a section of the plant that was still living, but on the ground, and secured it to the main portion with an old shoulder strap from a worn out bag. It was as if doing this, propping up an almost disconnected section with the main plant, encouraged it to move beyond damage and regain forward motion. Soon, the hydrangea put out leaves, and in the early fall, it bloomed. Now, although the plant hasn’t totally regained its fullness, it is thriving.

Are you resilient when hardship, heartache, and damage enter your life? Here are a few key elements to consider:

Encourage Recovery

Sometimes, when a traumatic life event occurs, plans don’t come to fruition, unexpected situations materialize, or a life pause occurs, we allow ourselves to become mired in the intricacies of circumstances and fail to move forward. But recovery can occur.

Just as the limp, drooping, and almost severed branches on my hydrangea didn’t recover until banded to the main part of the bush, so you may need some help to encourage your recovery. Decide where you need a prop up. Do you need spiritual enlightenment, emotional support, or physical healing? Take time to address what needs to change to speed recovery.

Glean from What Happened

We learn from life experiences both good and not so good. When slammed with the unexpected, it may take a while to process and glean wisdom from what happened. But if you can learn and discover what helped you get through, you will be better equipped and more resilient the next time tragedy, grief, discouragement, or waiting appear.

Learn Flexibility

When our children were little, we took them to see a live acrobatic show. The performers were painted silver from head to toe, rendering their movements flexible and fluid. Our daughter dubbed them “silver people” and for months she and her brother imitated them.

Flexibility is key to resilience. You may have to practice flexibility before you get the hang of it, but if you can learn to pivot when life hands you the unexpected, you’ll gain strides toward resilience.

Expect Restoration

Have you ever looked at an old building or house, ones diminished by decay or neglect and thought there is no hope? Thankfully, I live in a town where people care about restoration and preservation and many historic properties have been saved because of that care and concern.

Perhaps you have also viewed some element of your life and thought it hopeless. You look at your situation and don’t believe restoration and forward motion are possible. Don’t believe the lie. Your perception is clouded by the enormity of the damage. Shift your focus in a positive direction. Restoration may be a gradual process, but each shovelful of emotional debris, each repair, each renovation takes you a step closer to total restoration. Don’t wait. With God’s help, you can begin the restoration process and see it through to completion.

“He will restore us in a very short time; he will heal us in a little while, so that we may live in his presence” (Hosea 6:2 NET).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.



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